Gran Bosco di Salbertrand

The park of the Great Woods of Salbertrand is a wide and pleasant valley, located on the right side of the upper Susa Valley, in the Cozie Alps. This territory, one of the most important forest districts in the Alps, has been a natural park of the Piedmont Region since 1980. The protected area opens in the village of Salbertrand and is included between an altitude of 1000 metres from the bottom of the valley to 2536 metres of the Blegier pass The area is particularly interesting for its large wood of white and red firs, larches and cembran pine trees .In fact it enjoys an extremely wet climate that favours a great development of vegetation. The fauna is rich as well: you can admire the nests of about 70 bird species and a lot of mammals, among which the deer, live there. There are a lot of paths along which you can visit the Park, both walking and cycling.In the vicinity of the InformationPoint you can see a picnic area. The Park is located at about 80 Km from Turin, with acces both from Salbertrand and from Sauze d`Oulx.

Parco Orsiera Rocciavre

A few kilometres from Turin, the mountainous massif of the Orsiera Rocciavrť, an island of wild uncontaminated mountains covering the Susa, Chisone and Sangone valleys. Not only is the Park interesting for the fauna and the very rich flora, but also for the presence of important historical buildings, such as the Charterhouse of Mount Benedetto and the Fort of Fenestrelle. You will be able to admire chamois, marmots, ermines, hares and many more animals! The Park can be visited in every season and it is advisable to admire it while walking and stopping in the many refuges in the area: the Amprimo refuge, the Toesca and Val Gravio on the side of the Susa Valley; the Alpe Balma refuge on the side of the Sangone Valley; the Selleries for the Chisone Valley. There are different road itineraries: from Giaveno and Coazzeon the side of the Val Sangone, San Giorio and Adret for the Susa Valley and Usseaux, Balboutet, Piano d'Alpe, Fenestrelle, Pra Catinat for the Chisone Valley.

Foresto Orrido Chianocco

The Reserve has been created in 1980 by the Piedmont Region to protect the only survival area in Piedmont of the Quercus Ilex tree (Chianocco Municipality, Susa Valley, Turin province). It has an extension of 30 ha. The area includes the deep rocky ravine cut by the Rocciamelone river over millions of years of erosion. There are also a number of zones of historical and prehistoric interest. Archeological excavations have revealed traces of the settlements used by nomadic herdsmen dating from the 3rd millennium B.C., whereas rock carvings testify to a constant human presence in the past. Marble was quarried here for a number of monumental buildings, including Turin cathedral, and there are also limestone quarries that were active until fifty years ago. The wild fauna consists above all of birds: chough, raven, short-toed eagle and buzzard. Juniperus oxicedrus is a typical Mediterranean plant that has found an ideal habitat on the limestone walls of the ravine. The plant produces brownish red berries and it grows larger than the more widespread common juniper. The Ilex (holm-oak) is an evergreen oak typical of the Mediterranean bush. Its survival in this Alpine area is a relict of interglacial periods, due to the particularly favourable micro-climate of the south-exposed and wind protected rock-slope. The gorge is situated in the ending part of the PrebŤch flood, spectacularly carved in the limestone. It's ten meters large and 50 meters long. It was probably originated by a landslide which constrained the flood to carve a new way in a Karstic fault, less resistant to the water erosion. The interest is not only geologic, but also ornithological (many kinds of birds nidify inside the gorge) and archaeological (prehistoric remains in a rockshelter).

Val Troncea

Val Troncea lies at the head of the catchment basin for the river Chisone. It was formed by the glacial action and erosive phenomena, which are still in process. The vegetation consists of larch woods, sometimes dotted with Arolla pine, and a rare grove of mountain pine. The alpine flora is extremely varied, including typical pioneering species like edelweiss and alpine aster, violet fescue (festuca violacea), alpine astragalus, viola calcarata and Pyrenean buttercup.The area was intensively used for timber from the 17th century onwards, in particular to construct the fortifications at Fenestrelle and the tunnels in the Beth mines, both of which called for vast quantities of wood.

 

Today the most interesting forests in ecological terms are the most isolated areas growing on the edge of the steep rocky slopes. The fauna includes numerous alpine species, like chamois, ibex (reintroduced into the park), roe, deer and wildboar. Birds worth noting are the golden eagle, goshawk, kestrel, owl, blackcock and ptarmigan.There are traces of prehistoric populations and the Waldensians are known to have lived in this area for a few hundred years (some magnificent 18th-century farmhouses can still be admired although they were abandoned after the 1920s).